2017-01-04 / Gardening Tips

Here's the Scoop

Time flies

Over the years, my wife and I have collected an assortment of antiques. We don’t have a lot of them, just a few pieces we like in our house.

The funny thing about antiques is that, over time, just about everything has the chance to become one. Even people. The generally accepted rule is that items need to be at least 100 years old to qualify as “antique.” However, if you browse in an antique shop these days, many pieces are from the 1950s and ’60s. I guess those items fall under the heading of “antique wanna-bes.”

No matter what definition was used, until recently, we had an alarm clock that qualified as “old.” Three-plus decades, by my math. We’ve been talking about replacing this equipment for quite some time. It was inexpensive when purchased and failed to take on a “distinguished” appearance over the years. The funny thing is the clock still worked perfectly. It told time quite accurately — with the exception of making it appear I was frequently going to be late for work.

Name your poison

The clock offered the option of waking folks with a modest beeping sound, or via radio broadcasting. In an odd quirk, with the limited radio reception at our house, the only available station plays “oldies” programming — so the songs that came on in ”wakeup mode” made it seem that it was still the early ’80s— when the clock was purchased. Weird.

Anyhow, after decades of waiting for cheap plastic to come back into fashion, we decided to upgrade to a clock constructed of more stylish plastic. After considerable research, we decided on a replacement that could “do it all.” Well, “all” includes waking sleeping bodies with the option of a “gently pulsating light that becomes stronger” or a pretty standard beeping sound. Maybe “standard” is the wrong term.

When we put the clock into action it was a bit…alarming! The “not-so-gently pulsating light” and blaring sound sent me into an immediate reaction of raising my hands before the prison guards gunned me down during my escape attempt. After a few seconds, I realized where I was and put the clock into lockdown mode. My wife mumbled something about already missing the “gently pulsating “ wakeup songs by the likes of Motley Crue and Van Halen.

Some of the bells and whistles

Did I mention that the new clock comes with USB charging ports, but no radio? Truth be told, I hated the 1980s “hair bands” when they were current and the years have not changed my mind. So, not waking to those sounds is a good thing.

That being said, it was necessary to revisit the instruction booklet and see what kinds of adjustments were available. I was immediately disappointed to learn that there was no way to dim the standard “moon glow” face of the clock. Being quite sensitive to light, I was hoping for a reduction to a quarter-moon, or less.

The good thing is, there was an adjustment for the “prison escape” wakeup light and accompanying blast of sound. We now have the tone on the much more subtle “car alarm” setting.

I love technology, but the jury is still out on whether the new alarm clock is an improvement. Time will tell. — Brian Sweeney

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